Category Archives: General

What Part Does Localization Play in Video Games?

What makes a video game local?

What’s the game in which the main character must eat all the dots inside an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts?

I’m sure you have answered correctly. This arcade game along with many other classics had been present in the lives of many millennials and generation X. Pac-Man is one of the first popular video games in spite of not being translated into several languages. This is due to the fact that it was primarily intended for few markets and its user interface was simple. Thus, non-English speaking users could manage to play it without having much knowledge of the foreign language.

Up to the present, video games have evolved incredibly, and there are plentiful of types to choose from, ranging from multiplayer role-playing games to construction games. They have been embellished with multiform universe, diverse characters, and more complex mechanisms than the classic arcade games. To provide a fully immersive experience to gamers from different countries, it is essential for video games to convey the necessary local flavor: they need to be localized. In the field of home entertainment, the gaming industry generates billions in revenue—imagine during a worldwide quarantine when people spend more time at home. A clear example of this profit is Minecraft. This 3D sandbox game had reached over 200 million copies sold with more than 126 million players in May 2020. Minecraft has been translated into 91 languages, including fictional ones such as Klingon from Star Trek.

Having a video game available in players’ native language allows them to have the full gaming experience, resulting in customer satisfaction. Most video game developers know that localization is key to reach foreign markets and build brand loyalty.

At first glance, video game localization may sound fun and entertaining; however, there are many aspects that make it a considerable challenge and call for great creativity and meticulousness.

Dealing with Programming code is one of the translators’ struggle. Those who are not familiar with this coding may think that it is a bunch of intertwined letters and numbers. However, experienced video game translators can be able to untangle them. It is key to understand what should be translated and what should be kept exactly as the gaming designer wrote; otherwise there would be chaos at the time of compiling the game. Expert video game translators are able to pinpoint the translatable text (strings) and non-translatable text; plus, they can use the latter as context—a hint about where and how the translation is going to be shown.

Another key defiance in video localization is the variables. Programmers usually write only 1 phrase or sentence which will be used later in different instances. Variables will replace different numbers, names, characters, gender, or objects. Thus, translators should be an adept juggler to achieve a translation neutral and meaningful enough to be used in different contexts. This is especially challenging for translations into Spanish as this language is characterized by its many gender and number inflections.

Video games also carry a great number of sociolinguistic elements, such as idioms, jokes, and sound effects. These elements not only have to be localized according to the specific target culture, but they also require a character limit. Therefore, localizing video games involves acute culture-awareness and resourcefulness in order to produce translations that sound natural for the gamer and that are short enough for the programmer to compile in its space constraints.

The above mentioned are only some of the complex aspects that entail translating video games. It is a demanding but stimulating undertaking that tests translator’s abilities and resources. Baquero Translation has expertise and proficiency in videogame localization. Playing with words is our passion. With Baquero Translation, you win!

By: Andrea Chetti

Translating The Future of Medicine

For life-science to keep moving forward, finding drugs for new and old conditions, and improving already existing treatments, clinical trials are carried out gathering patients and doctors from different countries and cultures.

Certain documents are thoroughly elaborated and then carefully translated into many different languages to guarantee the success of the trial. These files are approved and reviewed by a board that ensures the trial protocol, the suitability of the investigators, the facilities, the subjects, and the methods and materials to be used in research studies.

These files are essential to authorize a trial and ensure the quality of the data:

  • Protocols: These documents describe the objective, design, methodology, statistical considerations, and organization of a clinical trial. The protocol also provides the background and rationale for the investigation. It may serve as the basis of a contract and ensures the integrity of the data collected. When translating protocols, accuracy is of paramount importance as a slight deviation of a term can change the outcome of the whole research or even be responsible for its rejection.
  • Informed Consents: They inform what the trial entails (reasons, actions needed, expectations, side effects, etc.). Through informed consents (IC) the volunteers confirm they understand what is being done and they give their consent to participate in the research. Similarly to IC, Child Assents are for volunteers under 18 years old. Translation of these documents is particularly sensitive since these documents provide all the information relevant to ensure a person’s consent. The correct tone and vocabulary should be used according to the intended reader (patients). Although these documents are quite scientific, translators are usually required to level down the complexity of their terminology for the laypeople to understand what is being said.
  • Investigator Brochures: This type of document contributes to the comprehension of two main topics: the rationale and compliance of the protocol; and the possible risks and adverse effects. IB should provide clear and objective information in order to ensure that investigators and other people involved fully understand what the trial entails. Special attention to objectiveness should be put in IB translations. As experts in language, we are aware of the different aspects of meanings and intentions in each word. Thus, we choose the clearest and most unbiased terms when translating investigator brochures.
  • Pharmacy and Procedure Manuals: They detail pharmaceutical requirements and procedures for the investigation, such as storage conditions, sample collection, general precautions, among others. To translate these files a wide range of specialized highly technical terms should be used.

Also, these documents should always be up-to-date, i.e. any modification related to the clinical research has to be reflected immediately whether it is before, during, or after the trial. For this step, we help to carry out efficient and high-quality amendments.

Baquero Translations is aware of the importance and implications of life science texts. We have accompanied clinical trials through all their steps and developed material according to specific client preferences for the last 15 years.

By: Andrea Chetti

La Revolución de Mayo y la traducción

El pasado 25 de mayo, en Argentina, celebramos la revolución de 1810. Aquel histórico día estaba lloviendo a cántaros. Se trataba de una lluvia con olor a soberanía, precursora de una futura independencia.

No puedo dejar pasar por alto un hecho interesante en esta parte de la historia argentina desde el punto de vista de la traducción.

Uno de los excepcionales revolucionarios y participantes clave fue Mariano Moreno. Sus pensamientos e ideas influyeron en gran parte en la Revolución de Mayo. Moreno era un racionalista, es decir estaba convencido de que la razón era la mejor forma de gobernar. En consecuencia, se puede decir que consideraba irracional estar bajo el poder de un Virrey que no representaba al pueblo ni tenía mucho poder. Además del poder ejecutivo que tenía en mente principalmente junto con Castelli y Belgrano, su objetivo era integrarse a la modernidad de la época: comerciar con Gran Bretaña y seguir el ejemplo cultural de Francia.

Me atrevo a decir que este pensamiento vanguardista en esa época se debe en parte a que Moreno fue, informalmente, traductor. Primero, tuvo que traducir para su uso personal. En la universidad, aprendió francés para poder leer grandes obras literarias, especialmente aquellas que provenían del pensamiento del iluminismo, es decir de los racionalistas. Es aquí donde descubre a Rousseau, y particularmente “El contrato social”. Quedó maravillado por el estilo de este autor y sus ideas de igualdad y libertad. Tanto que, luego de fundar la Gazeta de Buenos Aires (sic.), tradujo “El contrato social” al español y publicó la traducción.

Una vez más, vemos la importancia de poder leer ideas de otras culturas y de que dichos textos estén al alcance de todos para el progreso de la patria. Por: Andrea Chetti.

Documents and Nuances of Translating for Healthcare

The healthcare industry needs to take their message around the world and they have different documents with different characteristics and nuances from the translation point of view.

So nothing is more important than a smooth and clear communication between providers and patients.

Healthcare documents vary widely in content, purpose, length and several other aspects, but any seasoned healthcare translator will agree that the following are the ones that make the most regular appearances in their daily translation workflow:

  • Pamphlets and flyers: Pamphlets and flyers are intended to engage patients into taking certain actions and are, thus, marketing-oriented. The information included is usually highlights of prevention measures, health tips, patient benefits, and even travel safety briefings. Though this material may look simple, translators must translate out of the box, bringing out their inner advertisers and even becoming creative writers to be as appealing as the original text and adjust play on words or rhymes to the new culture.
  • Health plan letters: These much more down to business type of documents are generally sent to members to inform about decisions/actions taken by their health plan regarding complaint investigations, appeal resolutions, coverage determinations, authorizations, denials, and so on. An eye for detail comes in very handy, as special attention must be paid to what the letter is informing: Was the service approved? Was the copay waived? Does the member have further appeal options? What type of language should be used for the addressee to understand it clearly?
  • Patient brochures: These brochures usually accompany medications and they contain prescribing information, administration guides, important safety information, common side effects, and so forth. The challenge of these documents is usually the specific and highly technical terminology, which not only demands accurateness and precision but also field-specific knowledge, as even minor mistakes in the wording of the translation can have very serious consequences for patients and/or medicine manufacturers.
  • Health Plan Documents: The United States of America has a Language Assistance Act requiring Health Plans to make their material available in different languages. Every year, Health Insurers renew their Summary of Benefits, Evidence of Coverage, Annual Notice of Changes, etc. These documents are particularly sensitive since they usually explain benefits, copays, coverage, etc. and a minor mistake can lead to serious problems in a patient’s coverage.

These are just a few examples of the most common types of healthcare documents that we handle on a daily basis. At Baquero Translations, we know the field inside out because we’ve been working on it for more than 15 years. We have the perfect team of Linguists, Project Managers, and QAers to take care of any healthcare project you might need help with.

By Andrea Chetti and Diego Mengo